I made this one a while ago, after my first outreach event – it was a couple of weeks ago. I was indeed helping out with the “Great Plankton Race”, which was really fun. I am no biology expert, so it was lucky they didn’t ask any really tough questions. I know the basics, and that’s about it. I think they were into it, though, even if it may have been only because they got to build something out of pipe cleaners and clay, and then throw it into a tank of water. How could you *not* enjoy that?
Outreach is a big deal in the Oceanography department – which is cool, because it’s really fun, and it allows us to tell potential future oceanographers all about oceanography. And I know it’s cheesy, and people say it all the time – but teaching is really the best way to learn. Whenever I’m teaching, I try to learn more than what they need to know, so that I can answer questions – although, almost without fail, they ask something I can’t answer, and I have to get back to them about it later.
Oh yeah, by the way – 8th graders – terrifying! But they were good kids, and I forgot to be nervous.